The Lore of Valentine’s Day

Although a Christian bishop named Valentine was martyred on February 14 in A.D. 269, there is nothing in his legend to account for the custom of choosing a sweetheart on this day.

In medieval England, people believed that birds mated at about this time, and farmers knew that “winter’s back breaks” by the middle of February.

By the early 1600s, it was a popular custom to send handmade valentines to your sweetheart, and in about 1800, the first commercial cards appeared. Cards were usually sent anonymously. An English official reported having to hire extra postal workers to handle all of the mail on this day in 1822.

Nobody knows exactly why chocolate has become the food of choice for many people on Valentine’s Day, February 14. At the Almanac, we eat it all year long!

1500s: Handmade valentines were customarily being sent from admirers to sweethearts.

1521: Spanish explorer Hernando Cortés tasted cacao, liked it, and called it chocolatl because he had difficulty pronouncing its Aztec name, xocolatl.

1800s: The first commercial valentine cards appeared. Cards were usually sent anonymously.

1822: An English official reported having to hire extra postal workers to handle the increased volume of mail on February 14.

1847: The first solid chocolate candy bar was made in England.

1848: Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts, started selling high-quality valentine cards that became so popular that she became known as the Mother of the American Valentine.

1876: The first milk chocolate candy appeared.

1890s: The first confection-filled, heart-shape, ornately decorated boxes (or “caskets”) were created by English chocolatier Richard Cadbury.

Just FYI. Hugs everyone!


Hello my friends. Yesterday and last night Al was pretty calm. He is getting so many temperatures that we now use Tylenol on a regular basis starting after supper. The right side of  his face continues to swell, almost completely closing his one eye.

The nurse was here yesterday and the one caregiver who comes twice a week. Both stated that Al has had a large decline since last Friday. We are now holding down to a minimum his liquids and foods.

He eats one jar of baby food and a couple sips of liquid. He is silently aspirating so anything he eats or drinks goes directly to his lungs instead of his stomach. The nurse explained how the food and liquids are actually making him worse at this point.

I don’t carry any hope anymore for Al’s health. All that ends up happening is that I get more sad. For Al there will not be a cure in time and I finally came to the decision that I was hurting myself by believing something that wasn’t there.


The sun is bright

The air is cold

A foot of snow

The winter so bold


Inside my heart

It’s warm and beats

One look at Al

Makes my knees so weak


There are some times

I feel so strong

But others I feel so weak

And some the days so long


I need to breathe

In brand new air

The illness has to leave

So my soul I dare to bare


One day I know

I will awake

And life will start to change

I will feel so out of range


Al will be gone

And I will feel

My tears will weep

But we both will heal.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd


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